Doctors believe New Mexico is more prepared than other states to distribute COVID-19 vaccine | KOB 4

Doctors believe New Mexico is more prepared than other states to distribute COVID-19 vaccine

Joshua Panas
Created: November 30, 2020 07:15 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- New Mexico health professionals believe the state is in a better position than other states to distribute a COVID-19 vaccine, once it is available.

In late October, the CDC issued the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Playbook. It provides ideas for how to prepare for vaccine distribution. 

Lovelace Dr. Vesta Sandoval says the state has gone above and beyond the expectations.

"We've been very fortunate in the fact that our state has taken a very proactive approach developing these vaccine committees and working with all of us to help coordinate the distribution of the vaccine, which is exceptionally difficult," she said. "And, I think, just in comparison with some of our colleagues in other parts of the country - we're quite far ahead and down the road of how we're going to be organizing to be able to give these vaccines effectively to all of our employees."

State leaders have been working closely with New Mexico hospitals to create a streamlined approach to get the vaccine to those who need it most. The state created a vaccine committee to make sure everyone is on the same page once the vaccine arrives in New Mexico.

Dr. Rohini McKee says there are some sizable hurdles standing in the way of making sure the vaccines are given out efficiently and safely.

"If you get the Pfizer vaccine the first time around, you have to get the Pfizer vaccine the second time around," she said. "So, there's a lot of logistical challenges with this. We all know about the challenges associated with temperatures with this vaccine and the way it needs to be administered and reconstituted, so we have a committee working on these efforts."

Health care workers will be among the first to receive the vaccine.

The public is expected to have access to the vaccine by the spring or summer of 2021.

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